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Nittany Lions In The NFL: Week Two Roundup

Week two of the NFL season resulted in many ups and downs for former Penn State football stars. A massive performance from Mike Gesicki highlighted the week, while a devastating injury to Saquon Barkley represented the downside of the week for Nittany Lion stars in the NFL.

Here are some of the best performances by former Penn Staters in the NFL from this past week:

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

With just three catches for 30 yards a week ago, Mike Gesicki bounced back in a major way against the Buffalo Bills.

Gesicki’s highlight reel play of the day was this nasty one-handed snag that resulted in a Miami first down.

With 130 yards and a score on eight catches, Gesicki’s performance was one of the best of his entire career, even setting the Dolphins record for receiving yards in a game for a tight end.

Gesicki, who started to break out at the end of last season, has certainly continued to deliver in the clutch for the Dolphins. During Miami’s comeback push, his touchdown reception with 54 seconds left in regulation really showed his ability to come through in big moments.

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

In the second quarter of the Eagles’ contest against the Rams Sunday, Sanders became the first Nittany Lion to score a touchdown in the 2020 NFL season.

Sanders finished with 95 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and three catches for 36 yards this week. He missed the first game of the season due to injury.

KJ Hamler, Denver Broncos

After missing his first game due to an injury, KJ Hamler recorded his first NFL catch in the Broncos’ 26-21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday.

His first NFL touch actually came on a rushing play that resulted in a nine-yard carry and a Broncos first down. Additionally, Hamler finished the game with three catches for 48 yards.

A second round selection by the Broncos, the expectations are high for Hamler and the youngest offense in the NFL. Now, with third-year pro Courtland Sutton tearing his ACL, Denver’s wide receiver room will need bigger contributions from Hamler in weeks to come.

Jack Crawford, Tennessee Titans

Although Crawford didn’t exactly fill up the stat sheet this week, his sack in the second quarter dropped Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage and helped the Titans force a punt.

He finished the game with only the one sack, but he made his presence known nonetheless.

Sam Ficken, New York Jets

One of the bright spots from the Jets’ game against the 49ers this week was the kicking game. Sam Ficken drilled two field goals in two attempts, with a long of 41 yards.

Injuries

Saquon Barkley tore his ACL in the second quarter of the Giants game against the Bears on Sunday and will be out for the rest of the 2020 season.

Chris Godwin and rookie Yetur Gross-Matos of the Panthers missed their teams’ games with concussions. Steelers guard Stefan Wisniewski was placed on IR earlier in the week and will miss time with a pectoral injury.

Other Notables

49ers kicker Robbie Gould booted a field goal and four extra points in the win against the Jets.

DaQuan Jones of the Tennessee Titans recorded four total tackles against the Jaguars, while Troy Apke recorded five more tackles with Washington, giving him the third-most total tackles on the team through the first two games.

Kevin Givens of the 49ers and Adrian Amos of the Packers each recorded two tackles in their teams’ dominant wins as well.

For the second week in a row, Carl Nassib joined the history books, this time as the Raiders won their first game in their newly minted home in Las Vegas. Nassib contributed three total tackles in the victory on Monday night.

Jason Cabinda, now listed as a fullback, has solidly contributed to the Detroit Lions; offensive game. He’s currently graded as the second-best fullback by Pro Football Focus.

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About the Author

Matt Rudisill

Matt is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism from a little town called Parkesburg in Chester County, PA. More often than not, you can catch him yelling about the Phillies and the Steelers on his Twitter (@mrudy26). Matt is also an elite wiffleball pitcher and is not afraid to back up that claim. Direct all wiffleball challenge invitations, or other legitimate requests, to [email protected]

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